Toddlers, menopausal women share same traits

I recently had the ginormous pleasure of seeing my niece, nephew, great-niece and great-nephew — who now live in North Carolina. Hmpf.

They recently moved there from Nebraska. Double hmpf.

You get the gist — I don’t see them nearly enough.

So when they were quite suddenly and unexpectedly in town for a few days, I lunged at the chance to see them.

Aside from the fact that my sweet pea Allie has always had Aunt Patty wrapped around her little finger, I also love her hubby, Butch, and her adorableness personified children, Brooklynn, who just turned 3, and Georgie, who is not quite 1. #couldnotbeanycuter

As I was watching Brooklynn work the room and Georgie wander around in it, I was plunged back into the days of my son Kyle’s babyhood. Truly some of the happiest, most heart-filled and wonderful moments of my entire life — the gentle cooing, the first steps, the first words, the uproarious and contagious laughing, the sheer and utter sweetness of it all. Yes, truly some of the best days ever.

And also, many of the ones on which I ripped my own hair out by its roots. True story.

What, you’ve never been around toddlers? Dude, they don’t call them the terrible threes (not twos, threes) for nothing, people. The intermittent fussing, the sporadic yelling, the outbursts of crying, the alternating screaming and squealing, the occasional biting, the sheer and utter lunacy of it all.

Don’t get me wrong, Allie’s babies were very well behaved, even when Brooklynn was testing the boundaries by defying Mommy one last time before Daddy gave her the “STOP OR I WILL MAKE YOU STOP” stare and poor little Georgie, who was clearly off his sleep schedule from travel, was weeping uncontrollably for no apparent reason.

It’s amazing how, when you’re the mommy, these things are so incredibly stressful (Kyle actually made me put myself in time out often) but when you’re the great-aunt, how they are so entirely darling. #oldagehasitsperks

Either way, that’s when it hit me: toddlers and menopausal women are kindred spirits.

I mean, we have a lot more in common than I realized. Not sure how preschoolers and middle aged women are the opposite sides of a single coin? Allow me to elaborate.

1. We are mad as heck and we aren’t going to take it anymore — but we don’t know why.

As I saw my poor, sweet little great-nephew aimlessly teetering around in a sleepless haze and bursting into tears one minute but laughing the next, I thought, “I can totally relate, buddy. I feel the exact same way.”

And speaking of a sleepless haze…

2. We are not very well behaved when we don’t get our power naps.

Yes, friends, much like a drowsy 3-year-old, a bushed 40-something woman is no joy to behold. It’s not our fault, really. We want more sleep but for a myriad of reasons are unable get it, and that deprivation rears its ugly head in many vile forms. Think 360-degree head spins, yo. Luckily for the older set, we have coffee to mitigate the fallout.

3. Our bodies are changing in ways we can’t control and don’t understand.

It’s not easy growing teeth and bones. And it’s not easy losing them, either. We’re becoming forms of ourselves that we don’t recognize so much. Please give us a moment to adjust.

4. We are happy at the simplest things.

Give a toddler an empty refrigerator box and he’ll play in there all day. Give a menopausal woman some foaming bath salts and you won’t see her again until morning.

5. We are angered by the simplest things.

Don’t step on our LEGO creations or cut us off in traffic, capisce? If you do, step back because…

6. We will go ballistic at any given moment, sans warning and with full malice.

It may be a screaming surge or a full-on emotional eruption complete with snotty, ugly crying, but tantrums / outbursts happen. They just do. We don’t mean the things spewed in the heat of the moment, and we’re really, really sorry afterward, ‘kay?

7. Sometimes, we just want our mommy. Period.

Hang in there, Allie and Butch, and all the young parents of the world. Believe it or not, someday you are going to miss the smashed cookies in the carpet and the spilled milk in the speakers. Trust old Aunt Patty, enjoy these days because they are shorter than you realize.

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who adores her niece Allie’s sweet family… and misses Kyle being a wee one. Contact her with fun stories about your own precious babies at her daily blog